With just 73 days to go until Britain is scheduled to leave the European Union, lawmakers Tuesday overwhelmingly rejected — by a vote of 432 to 202 — the withdrawal deal painstakingly negotiated between Prime Minister Theresa May and her European counterparts.
The landslide vote was pure humiliation for a British leader who has spent the past two years trying to sell her vision of Brexit to a skeptical public, and her failure raised serious questions about how — and if — Britain will leave the E.U. as promised on March 29.
“The house has spoken and the government will listen. It is clear that the house does not support this deal but tonight’s vote tells us nothing about what it does support. Nothing about how, or even if, it intends to honour the decision. Listen to the British people, who want this issue settled,” Theresa May said.
“The risk of a disorderly withdrawal of the United Kingdom has increased with this evening’s vote,” European Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker said in a statement. “While we do not want this to happen, the European Commission will continue its contingency work to help ensure the EU is fully prepared.”